Health Topics: What Can Cause Red Itchy Skin?

Dry skin, medication allergy, contact dermatitis and medical conditions are just a few things that can cause the skin to become red and itchy.

Most everyone knows how irritating red, itchy skin can be, but trying to figure out exactly what caused the itchy skin can sometimes be perplexing.It can sometimes take the best of detectives to figure out the cause.

The most familiar cause for red, itchy skin is insect bites.Mosquitoes, fleas and spiders are just a few of the many insects that can bite and cause a raised, very itchy and very red bite mark.Another common cause for an itchy rash is rhus dermatitis, more commonly known as poison ivy, oak and sumac.

There are also many different things that can cause a red, itchy rash to occur that are not so commonly known. Children who chew a lot of bubble gum can develop an allergic reaction to the plastic in the bubble gum and develop red, itchy skin around their mouths. Extreme weather conditions can also cause very irritating, very itchy skin. If a person is exposed to the sun and hot temperatures for long periods of time, a heat rash can appear.In cold temperatures, when frostbite occurs, a red, itchy rash can form around the frostbitten areas of skin. Babies can develop an itchy, red rash on their bottoms, most commonly known as diaper rash, which is caused from the skin coming in contact with a wet diaper for prolonged periods of time.


There are literally thousands of things that can come in contact with the skin that can cause the skin to become red and itchy. A new laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, or perfume are just a few of the most common items that can cause an allergic reaction to happen and the skin to become reddened and very itchy.Certain chemicals, such as formaldehyde or getting insulation on the skin, can also cause the skin to become red, itchy, and very irritated.

Allergies to foods and spices can result in red, itchy skin. What remains a mystery is, a person can eat a particular food their entire life but, all of the sudden, break out in an allergic rash all over their body from eating that food. This can cause a bit of a puzzle because the person hasn't eaten any "new" foods.

Several people are allergic to metals which will cause the skin to become red and itchy. My daughter is allergic to nickel, which is a type of metal that is used in many blue jeans and jewelry.When she wears anything with nickel in it, she will break out in a very crimson red rash that is very inflamed and very itchy.

Being prescribed new medications can sometimes cause an allergic reaction to occur which will cause the skin to develop a red, itchy rash after taking only the first few pills.If this occurs, it is highly suggested that you consult with your physician to make sure you are not having an allergic reaction.This can sometimes just be a side effect of the medication though it is not one that I would particularly like having.

There are certain medical conditions that can cause the skin to become red, itchy, and very inflamed. Problems with the hepatic system, or liver, can cause this type of skin problem. Another medical condition, called Rosacea, causes the face to become red, flaky, and itchy. A very common medical condition, Varicella, or chicken pox, causes red, itchy spots to appear, sometimes in only a few areas of the body or, unfortunately for the person, all over the body.This same virus causes Herpes Zoster, more commonly known as shingles, which is a skin condition that erupts and follows the course of a certain nerve under the skin.

While red, itchy skin could be the result of one of the conditions above, sometimes it is just dry skin that has been scratched over and over and just needs a good moisturizer.

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